So this week I’m reading Brave New Worlds, an anthology of dystopian-set short stories. Because, you know, real life isn’t depressing enough these days.
So this week I’m reading, for, somehow, the first time ever, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, by Douglas Adams, of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy fame. (Yes, I did read HGttG, which made me laugh. And I read Last Chance to See, which also made me laugh, but made me sad at the same time. So that was confusing. Perhaps I needed a few decades to recover.)
This week I’m reading Hyperion, the Hugo award-winning novel by Dan Simmons, in which … uh … well I’m not really sure I can explain what’s going on, because it seems really complicated. Suffice to say there’s a planet named Hyperion that seems to be about to become ground zero in an interplanetary war between a couple of different human factions (one planetary, one space-based), and which is also haunted by a possibly shapeshifting, definitely fearsome creature, called the Shrike, which essentially teleports around impaling people and hanging them as ornaments from its gigantic backwards-in-time-traveling aluminum Christmas tree, and which is worshiped as a god throughout inhabited space, and which our small band of protagonists is currently traveling upriver, Heart of Darkness-style, to visit. Oh and also there’s a huge planetary labyrinth (one of at least nine such labyrinths on different planets) full of cruciform parasites whose significance I don’t yet know.
But other than that nothing is happening.
This week I’m reading volumes 1-3 of The Great Iron War, by Dean F. Wilson, a science fantasy steampunk series in which Earth (or someplace like it) is invaded by outsiders, called “demons” (even though I’m pretty sure that’s not what they are) who come in search of iron. Hence the name of the war.
This week I’m (still) reading MaddAddam, the final installment in Margaret Atwood’s dystopian/post-apocalyptic series that began with Oryx & Crake. Dystopian fiction and post-apocalyptic fiction are not the same thing, of course, but all three books in the MaddAddam trilogy qualify as both because their present-day scenes take place after the destruction of (most of) humanity, while their flashback scenes take place in the dystopian burbclaves that preceded the apocalypse. Hence you get to eat your dystopia and have it too. Or something like that.
This week I’m reading MaddAddam, the third part of Margaret Atwood‘s post-dystopian/post-apocalyptic trilogy that began with Oryx & Crake and continued with The Year of the Flood — although because Oryx & Crake and The Year of the Flood ran more or less concurrently, perhaps “continued” isn’t quite the right word. Let’s say “was expanded” instead.